HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ House Republicans Nearing Agreement on ACA Repeal Bill
House Republicans Nearing Agreement on ACA Repeal Bill

April 2017

House Republicans may attempt to bring a revised Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill to the House floor within the next week. The House republican leadership had raised the possibility of bringing the revised ACA repeal bill to the House floor during the same week as consideration of the Fiscal Year 2017 government spending measure. However, they decided not to move it forward after Democrats threatened to oppose the spending bill.

The revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) technically retains the ACA's essential health benefits and community rating rules prohibiting insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums. However, it allows states to waive both of these requirements. The community rating rules could be waived if a state agrees to set up a high-risk pool and additionally, if the state can prove that it will expand insurance coverage or reduce insurance premiums or advance another state public benefit. The AHCA retains the bill's original provisions that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would cause up to 24 million Americans to lose insurance coverage within a decade and cap Medicaid funding to states. The revised bill gained the support of the House Freedom Caucus, most of the members of which had refused to back the original AHCA. It does not have the support of all moderate House Republicans, known as the Tuesday Group. The bill will likely be significantly revised if it passes the House and reaches a Senate vote.

The ATS sent a letter to all House Representatives urging a "no" vote on the ACHA. The ATS letter states, "We are concerned that allowing states to waive important insurance reforms in the Affordable Care Act will lead to reduced coverage for many Americans and significant price increases for patients with pre-existing conditions.  Further, we are concerned that reliance on 'high risk pools' will not adequately meet the health insurance needs of many Americans with pre-existing conditions."

Last Reviewed: October 2017